What Is the Way to Use a Satellite Finder?

To operate a satellite finder, also called a signal meter, users must connect the meter to the satellite dish via coaxial cables, then move the dish by small degrees until an acceptable signal strength is achieved. Some units require two cables, including one to power the meter, while those with battery power require only a single cable.

Make sure to include all steps in order to set up the satellite finder properly.

Step 1: Set up the satellite finder

Most meters find appropriate settings based on the user's ZIP code or latitude and longitude settings, which must be keyed into the device. After the coaxial cables are connected to the low-noise blocker and the receiver, the user must input his or her approximate geographical location.

Step 2: Find the strongest signal

Some satellite finders indicate signal quality with a buzz or tone that increases in volume as the signal improves. Others measure signal clarity with a number scale from one through 10. The user must move the dish vertically and horizontally until the greatest signal strength is found. The vertical position requires the user's point of elevation, or elevation angle, while the horizontal position requires the azimuth angle. Most meters have built-in functions to find these values.

Step 3: Disconnect the meter

Once the strongest signal is located, the dish must be held steady so it doesn't shift from the ideal position. Two people are often required to hold the dish steady and tighten the bolts at the same time so the dish stays in place. The coaxial cables are then disconnected from the meter and reconnected to the low-noise blocker and receiver.